Monday, April 12, 2010

The wind has settled again to a fairly gentle 5-10knot sou-westerly. Although I really appreciate having a break from the tough conditions of a couple of days ago, its still no walk in the park. With next to no wind to keep the boat steady, she flops around all over the place in the mountainous swells that are a fixture out here. The conditions have been constant for a while now, in fact I had over 12 hours without having to alter the sail settings at all! With no more dramatic events to report (yes all the fun does seem to happen at once), I'll try to respond to some of my blog followers: the reference to bananas on board was simply alluding to the maritime myth that bananas on board brings bad luck. I believe it now. No the boat does not have an extra heavy keel so it is more stable in the swell. The boat, an S&S 34, is designed for heavy ocean sailing. I do have a slightly smaller rig, including a storm jib that I use in conjunction with a reduced mainsail area and I find that balances the boat really well in the heavy seas and winds. Yes the 12 volt oven does use a bit of power but I need to eat proper meals or I'll never last the distance! My hands don't work well enough to be able to prepare meals on a stove. (Great excuse to get out of the cooking). I have a genset on board, which I use when the oven is on and it also charges the batteries. How do I keep my balance? With great difficulty at times! My damaged big toe and destroyed microwave is evidence of this. The inside of the cabin is deliberately designed to be very uncluttered, without things that may cause me damage if I happen to bounce around. Its a bit like a padded cell really. I have developed techniques to handle myself with the movement of the boat and am now finding that as time goes on my movements are becoming more "natural" and less thought through and I have less likelihood of coming adrift. I do have particular positions where I can wedge myself safely. Of course I am always attached to the boat with a safety harness when outside. The toughest part of being out here is the isolation and not having anyone to talk to and bounce ideas around. Yes Geoff, I do talk to myself! I probably shouldn't say too much here or I might be met by men in white coats when I get to Hobart, but I do get into conversation with myself. I'm finding I am taking on the characters in the talking books which is quite entertaining! My daily satellite phone call in the evening is the high point of my day. I struggle to comprehend how the likes of Jon Sanders, David Dicks and others in times past did without modern communication and managed to stay sane. I'm in awe of them.


  1. Hello Jamie! Sure enjoyed reading your recent posts! Seems that 'events' do arrive in mass, and sounds like you have certainly had your share. It also seems that you have managed everything quite successfully! Great work!

    I chuckled when you mentioned talking to yourself. When my husband became disabled I noticed I was talking to myself around the house (he doesn't converse). I discovered I was having two person conversations and there were never any disagreements!! So maybe there is an upside to that! :)

    Jamie, thank you for your honesty. It takes a mighty strong man to talk with us out here in the blog-a-sphere and to do what you are doing! Keep up your good work and above all, sail safe!

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  2. Hello Jamie's
    let us be sensible up here, talking to yourself is the onlY way to get a sensible answer.As long as your alter ego does not back chat you.
    Here in Narrogin where I am, we just had a storm, but it was a pussicat compare to your.
    My son is in Rockingham and is daughter is in the Anzac cadets, you see it is a small world, he has a website about rockingham and i have asked him to put a link to your site.
    I hope that you keep strong. It is a challenge, but such a example and a pick me up.Many poeple admire you and it is well deserved. Well, it is all from me for now 12.30 AM it is bed time. Keep well.

  3. Hi Jamie. things sound quite good. we are all following your travels and keep and eye on the weather.Glad the weather has been quiet at the moment.Look forward to keeping up with your journey. take care Aunty Pam and family

  4. Hi Jamie, sympathies for that flopping around on a confused sea and no wind - its awful - worse than storms in some ways. I'm trying to place you on the ocean wind chart and it looks like you are in for the calmest crossing ever if you make it within the week. May not be enough wind to get you there but the wave outlook looks moderate throughout so not much relief from the flip flopping you've got now. They say chafing is a cruiser's worst enemy. Good you fixed the brake. In the gym today doing hiking drill for Laser States, I devoted the last set to you - got me through the pain so well that I also dedicated an apple and strawberry tea-cake with ice-cream to you at coffee afterwards. Sure helped!




  5. Hi Jamie,
    You are beyond amazing!
    I live in Oregon, and April is a bit of everything, from snow, to rain to wild bursts of wind to lovely calm sunshine, and it can change every half hour some days! (that's not the norm for everyday, but lately it seems the norm!) Today the skies were every shade of blue imaginable with clouds that were beyond description, and I kept thinking of you, and Jessica, and the weather and wind changes out there on the oceans. Still when I think about it, I'm in complete awe of what you are doing... like... conversing with yourself (excellent company you've chosen). Questioning, answering, commenting, wondering, probing, and those aha! moments of self discovery. Not only have you undertaken this remarkable voyage, but while you are taking care of the boat and other necessities, you carry on conversations too, on the most profound matters I'm sure. Discoursing with oneself assures the best company! And it'll help your sanity!

    And bandaging a toe while rocking and rolling ... how many able bodied people can do that? :) Let's see how many folks on a dance floor could do that!

    I'm not so sorry to hear about the microwave though

    ** Oh, should I have said that?
    -- Well, it wasn't very nice of you.
    ** But he'll be better off heating his food in other ways, that will be healthier for him.
    -- Well, he may not think so.
    ++ Yea! It doesn't matter what you think now, does it?
    ** True. But you know there are ....
    << Okay okay, we've heard it all before, and don't need to hear it again, ya know?
    ** I was just trying to say...
    << We know. Can we chat about something else?
    -- Sure...what d'ya want to talk about?
    ** I was thinking how nice it would be to talk to someone else for a change...not that I don't like all of you...
    ++ Are you saying we're not interesting enough for you??

    :) :) :)

    Stay safe, and well fed!
    Susan in Oregon

  6. Thinking of you out there.NW and sloppy here at Mandurah first front for the season. A pet dislike of mine also sailing in light conditions with everything flopping about. Had good sail up to your home turf and around garden island and return last week thought of you when i found my wet bunk after going to windward and having water leaking through the hatch.At least ican anchor up and get organised. Keep up your spirits on your inspirational journey.

  7. Hi Jamie, di you experience the severe electrical storm last night. If so, hope that you are ok. How are you managing wthout the micro? It would kill me. By the way talking is so over rated. My Husband likes to talk all day. Sometimes I dream of being where you are, silence can really be golden. Good luck.
    Regards, Jeanp, Australia

  8. The ouzo and coke are waiting patiently at the yacht club.What do you reckon 5 days to Hobart?
    Is it easy to go from the 1 to a 3 and vicea versa.?

  9. No bananas! and no microwave! Now THAT's a Double Tap! and as for blogging friends "dedicating tea-cake & icecream to you, no that's just cruel . Sounds as tho' Jessica has just had more fun than she'd bargained for in this wild part of the world you're all in atm, and Jeanne is hove to - trying to avoid it? Good luck to you all -you're all such extra-ordinary ppl.

  10. hi legendary man,I have to say I quite enjoy talking to myself.I get the answers I want.Also talking to yourself makes others think you are a bit 'doo-lally'and they leave you in peace!I havent had 'character' voices yet ,must practice.That will scare even the crows away!Hope you arent too uncomfortable and please try to stay dry,its not good to be in damp clothes for long periods.Go you good thing Gumleaf in Brissy.

  11. You are indeed setting a very powerful example of how the mind can overpower the body..
    I also have to thank Jesse for bringing your "endeavors" to the world's attention..
    Keep up the good sailing work and Godspeed my friend..

    Rochester Hills, MI

  12. Hi Jamie,
    Your going really well. Looks like you've only got a few days left to Hobart with reasonable winds all the way. Hope the boats still stayed dry for you. Pity about the microwave. Thats probably payback for even thinking about bananas and leaving Friday in Albany. I think the pelicans got the bananas in the end. If you get bored put the CD I gave you on the player and find the track called "Frankenstein" Turn up to max volume.
    You'll probably then throw it overboard.
    Anyway Jamie have a safe trip into Hobart and enjoy the hot pie that no doubt will be waiting for you.
    Cheers Murray

  13. hey you are getting close, wont be long and you can phone for a pizza.

  14. Was great to see you in Albany on Good Friday - and now following your travels - your course looks good - a few wobbles, naturally. What breeze direction - hope there's lots of beam reaching. I agree, getting around and hanging on below decks is a hard work! I've been clipped on and strapped in to the nav station and galley. Hang on in there, Jamie.

  15. As for talking to yourself, next time, take a cat with you - like Matthew Flinders. For some reason, talking a pet doesn't feel wrong, but talking to yourself in the car, in the shower, on the way to the station, gets stuff out of your system, but also gets you strange looks from passing ships ... errr, I mean ... people. Come to think of it, Abby & Jessica have large stuffed toys, and so did Kate Cottee - now we know why!